The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North and the Santa Barbara-Puerto Vallarta Sister City Committee are reaching out to help neighbors south of the border who have been affected by loss of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdowns.
The Sister Cities group already has sent $13,000 to date to feed 500 families — about 3,000 people — in crisis in the Volcanes community in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.
The Volcanes Food Bank was established in the beginning of March to help meet the needs of poor families in Volcanes and surrounding areas of Puerto Vallarta during the pandemic, which devastated the area economically. Jobs and tourists have nearly disappeared in the resort city.
One donation of $25 can feed a family of four for a month with basic foods such as beans, rice, lentils, potatoes, tortillas, eggs, cooking oil, soap, toilet paper, etc.
Rotarian and Sister City member Yvonne Pedersen is the founder of a new fundraiser titled Operation Bust Out, created to help the Puerto Vallarta foodbank drive while helping local children stay active during the pandemic.
Pedersen, a Goleta native and nationally renowned “Golden Girl” baton instructor, is donating her time to teach baton twirling and dance classes for Goleta-area children ages 5 to 12.
“It is a fun and safe way for local children to ‘bust out’ of confinement and ‘bust out’ some cool dance moves,” she said. “Baton twirling is a great way to improve ambidexterity, rhythm, coordination and self-esteem.”
There is no fee for the four-week sessions, but a tax-deductible donation of $50 to the Santa Barbara-Puerto Vallarta Sister City Committee is welcome to support the foodbank project.
Classes are one hour and held at an outdoor space in the El Encanto Heights neighborhood in Goleta. Other locations throughout the community will be set up. Santa Barbara County social-distancing standards will be practiced. A parent or guardian must be present at all times during the lesson.
Batons are supplied for participants during class time and are cleaned between classes. Batons can be purchased for $30 if students want to take one home.
Sessions are underway. To participate in Operation Bust Out classes, contact Pedersen at 970.631.4842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for more information or to make a donation to the foodbank project, or contact board member Gil Garcia at 805.689.2588 or email@example.com.
— Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.